Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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May 27, 2014

UK accounting watchdog warns over bank audits

LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) – Accountants who check the books
of Britain’s banks must sharpen their act or could be ordered to
take corrective measures, the sector’s watchdog said in a report
showing how a core lesson from the financial crisis has yet to
be applied.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said in its annual
audit quality inspections report that there was a significant
improvement in audits of listed companies in general, but the
banking sector continued to lag.

May 27, 2014

IMF’s Lagarde says bank reforms slowed by fierce industry pushback

LONDON (Reuters) – Progress in completing banking reforms to plug gaps highlighted by the 2007-09 financial crisis is too slow and is being hampered by fierce industry lobbying, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said banks were holding more capital now than they did in the run-up to the financial crisis when taxpayers had to shore up the sector.

May 23, 2014

Barclays slapped with $44 mln fine over gold price fix

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) – Barclays Plc has been
fined 26 million pounds ($43.8 million) for failures in internal
controls that allowed a trader to manipulate the setting of gold
prices, just a day after the bank was fined for rigging Libor
interest rates in 2012.

Britain’s Barclays is the first bank to be fined over
attempted manipulation of the 95-year-old London gold market
daily “fix”, although a source familiar with the fine said it
was a one-off and not part of a wider investigation into gold
price rigging.

May 23, 2014

Barclays fined 26 million pounds over gold price fix

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has been fined 26 million pounds for failures in internal controls that allowed a trader to manipulate the setting of gold prices just a day after the bank was fined for rigging Libor interest rates in 2012.

Britain’s Barclays is the first bank to be fined over attempted manipulation of the 95-year-old London gold market daily “fix”, although a source said the fine was a one-off and not part of a wider investigation into gold price rigging.

May 22, 2014

Banks, exchanges set to jostle over EU securities reform

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – European Union regulators have
published 800 pages of draft rules for a sweeping reform of the
bloc’s securities markets, sparking a race among banks and
exchanges to try to change any proposals that might damage their
profitability.

The 28-country bloc approved a new securities law this year
to better protect investors and apply lessons from the 2007-09
financial crisis. Its markets watchdog, the European Securities
and Markets Authority (ESMA), spelt out on Thursday how elements
of the law will be implemented by early 2017.

May 21, 2014

BoE’s Haldane say better run companies would boost growth

BRISTOL, England (Reuters) – Companies taking a longer-term view could help reduce inequality in society and boost economic growth over the medium term, a senior Bank of England official said on Wednesday.

Andy Haldane, executive director for financial stability, said short-termism at big listed companies, such as focusing on payouts to CEOs and dividends for shareholders “front and centre”, contributes to inequality.

May 21, 2014

EU watchdog to kick off biggest revamp of securities markets

LONDON (Reuters) – The second round of a battle between banks and bourses kicks off this week when European Union regulators publish proposals for the biggest shake-up of the bloc’s securities market in history to increase transparency and investor protection.

The 28-country EU approved a new securities law this year to apply lessons from the 2007-09 financial crisis, and play regulatory catch-up with faster technology such as high-frequency trading.

May 19, 2014

BoE says banks nervous over releasing details of health checks

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks in Britain broadly support Bank of England plans for yearly checks on their capital levels, although they disagree on how detailed the published results should be.

Eight of Britain’s biggest banks, including Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), RBS (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Lloyds (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), will undergo a health check this year to see if they hold enough capital to withstand a 35 percent slump in house prices and a spike in interest rates to 4 percent.

May 16, 2014

Plans to de-risk ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks face hurdles in Europe, Asia

LONDON (Reuters) – Global plans to prevent taxpayers from having to pay for big bank failures are at risk because banking supervisors in Europe and Asia do not fully support some of the proposals aimed at drawing a line under the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Governments have paid out billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out large banks in trouble because of fears that the fallout from a big collapse would be too damaging.

May 13, 2014

FCA says funds failing to come clean on charges

LONDON (Reuters) – Mutual funds should use a common method when explaining their fee structures to make them easier to understand for investors, Britain’s financial watchdog said on Tuesday.

The government is trying to encourage people to save more for their old age, but critics say fund fees are too confusing, hinder competition, and eat up lots of the money built up.

    • About Huw

      "Huw is based in London and covers European regulatory issues and global rulemaking bodies such as the G20, Financial Stability Board, IOSCO, IASB and the Basel Committee. He has covered EU regulation in Brussels, the emergence pan-European stock markets, and has also been a Wall Street reporter in New York."
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